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2012/2013  KAN-CMI_CEGS  Global Strategic Management

English Title
Global Strategic Management

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period First Quarter
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BSc og MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Bo Nielsen - Center for Strategic Management and Globalization
Main Category of the Course
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 29-04-2013
Learning objectives
In this course, the emphasis is not on filling in frameworks and applying standard recipes. On the contrary, students will be expected to challenge recipes, question received wisdom, and exhibit unconventional and independent thinking.
Three key dimensions of learning objectives are in focus:

 Global Management Knowledge. Understanding of the many, often conflicting, schools of thought and theoretical lenses present in the global strategic management field. Increased insight into the assumptions, boundaries, possibilities and limitations of each set of theories;

 Global Management Skills. The ability to define strategic issues, to critically reflect on existing theories, to creatively combine or develop theories where necessary and to flexibly employ theories where useful;

 Global Management Attitude. A critical, analytical, flexible, creative, and diverse mindset, which challenges organizational, industry and national paradigms and problem-solving recipes. Ability to engage in discussions with managers and decision-makers of leading MNCs.
This course is only open to CEMS students. IBS students cannot get credit towards their CBS degree.
Case exam:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Aids Open Book, Written Aid is permitted
Duration 72 Hours
Course content

The aim is to provide you with both a strong theoretical understanding and a practical grasp of global strategic management. In this course, you will apply the theoretical insights to challenging case studies and group assignments which serve to create a thorough foundation for dealing with strategic management issues in an international context.

The course intends to extend your understanding of defining and assessing the quality of a firm’s international competitive strategy. Nurturing a sound understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts inherent to global strategic management should help you formulate, evaluate and implement strategies which help firms gain competitive advantage. The course emphasizes practical application of theory. This is sought through active utilization of theories to solve real world company issues. The strong emphasis on practical application is further enhanced by guest lectures from top managers of leading multinational firms.

This course intends to give an overview of all essential aspects of global strategic management with a strong emphasis on application of theory. It is assumed that students read the provided theoretical material (readings) and come to class prepared to discuss the boundaries of theories as well the limits to their application in certain business contexts.

The course is built around the four broad strategic issues facing international business managers;

(1) Whether to diversify the organization’s activities across different countries and/or regions?

(2) Where (in which specific geographic markets) should the organization compete? A geographic market can be conceptualized as a collection of buyers and sellers doing business in a specific geographic location.

(3) What form(s) should the organization’s international business activities take?

(4) When should the organization enter or exit a given geographic market?

We will be discussing each of these four broad issues and why these questions, although relevant also for managers in domestic businesses, are particularly important in the context of international business. While not required, a good basic understanding of international business theory and economics is an advantage.

Drawing upon the three specific theoretical perspectives; (1) environmental-level institutional theory, (2) firm-level resource-based perspective, and (3) activity-level transaction cost economics, this course seeks to integrate current understanding in the IB literature into a consistent and coherent framework for managerial decision-making. Location is of particular importance since location influences the extent to which institutional features, accessible resources and transaction costs directly or indirectly influence the outcomes of international business activities, and thus help to focus the decision-making process underlying IB strategy. In other words, locations differ in important ways one from another in their institutions, resource endowments and attributes influencing transaction costs, and the differences influence organizational decisions about whether, where, what and when to participate in international business transactions. Furthermore, international business experience in specific locations affects the capabilities of organizations to undertake specific business activities in other locations. In short, location is at the heart of our model of IB strategy through its influence on the broad environment surrounding international business activities, as well as its impact, over time, on the capabilities of organizations to undertake business activities in different countries and regions.

The main objective of this course is to give students a thorough understanding of these three theoretical perspectives and their linkage to the concept of location, as well as to present empirical evidence on the importance and relevance of our conceptual model to the four IB strategy questions identified above. In short, we strive to reduce the complexity of the existing IB strategy literature and synthesize a number of theoretical concepts into one integrated framework that can address the four main IB strategy questions most pertinent to managers and decision-makers in MNCs.

Teaching methods
Class format: Class session will consist of lectures and include interactive presentations and case discussions. Moreover, international executives and industry experts will be involved in a number of lectures to confront the class with a number of practical and challenging issues in the area of global strategic management. The format of the course is thus based on a mixture of cases and theory, as it is our belief that understanding both practice and theory, and acquiring the skill to apply one to the other, should be the core of this course. Hence, classes will be used to partially review theory and promote critical discussion of theory application (this is the student's individual responsibility) and to partially present and discuss cases. This discussion should, however, be guided by insights gained in the 'theoretical' readings and should lead to conclusions about the applicability of theoretical concepts in certain practical situations.
Last updated on 29-04-2013